It doesn’t happen very often, but for once there appears to be general accord in the milk supply chain that an announcement on milk prices by Asda was a good thing.
The retailer revealed last week that it would pay its new, dedicated group of around 600 dairy farmers 0.5p more for their Asda fresh liquid milk from December 1. The retailer also pledged to absorb the cost and keep retail prices the same.
The move followed the first meeting of the Asda/Arla raw milk price review body, established to monitor their sole supply arrangement.
NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones said the decision was “a positive result” after weeks of pressure from the farming sector. “This decision finally sends some positive messages to dairy farmers,” he said.
The move lent credence to Asda’s claim that its decision to move to a sole supply arrangement was driven by desire to get closer to farmers and not to drive down prices. The retailer has faced
criticism from Farmers For Action leader David Handley, who ordered his supporters to picket Asda depots. Handley said FFA commended the move but added: “It falls far short of getting other producers a decent price.”
Protests at depots would continue, he added, until Arla reinstated September’s 0.4ppl price cut.